Mar/Apr 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 2 FictionMarch 2, 2022 |

The Allens

At night the store had music. Nobody cared when my shirt was untucked, or if my shoes weren’t black. Nobody told me to hurry. All night I’d stock produce, stack pallets, sweep, mop, break down boxes for the compactor. Sometimes, when I had an aisle to myself, I’d stop and close my eyes and just stand there. When the music was quiet, you could hear the light bulbs humming overhead. But then I’d feel a tapping on my shoulder, soft at first, someone telling me it was time to clock out. Or I’d turn a corner and see the sun already glowing through the windows up front, over the checkouts. It always seemed impossible that eight hours had passed. At home I tried to sleep—I had a mattress on the floor—but all I could do was lie there, staring at the ceiling, the wall, the window. The apartment itself was fine—clean carpet, decent appliances—but I was twenty-six, and this was my first time living alone, and I kept getting the feeling that I wasn’t doing it right. I kept

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Ink

By Angela Woodward

At night the store had music. Nobody cared when my shirt was untucked, or if my shoes weren’t black. Nobody told me to hurry. All night I’d stock produce, stack […]

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